Give Away Results – and Thursday Thoughts on Covers

I’ve mentioned once or twice that I was doing a give away, right?  😉  The period to enter ended yesterday, so today I have results!  And the winner chosen from a metaphorical hat is…


If you didn’t win (or missed entering!) there’s another event coming up later in May to celebrate Children’s Book Week–so stay tuned!

On to the other business of the day…I recently heard about a new-to-me book blogging meme, Thoughtful Thursday, hosted by Reading Is Fun Again.  Similar to the Blog Hop, a book-related discussion question is posted each week.  Here’s today’s question!

Thoughtful Thursday

What features do you like in a book cover? Do you like plain covers? Do you like covers with drawings on them? Do you like covers with photographs on them? Do you like movie-tie in covers?

Well, I gush about pretty covers probably about as much as anyone…Wildwood Dancing and Entwined both come immediately to mind.  But a pretty cover won’t necessarily be right for every book…and mostly this question has led me to think about what I expect from a cover.  Mostly, I use covers to tell me about the genre and the style of the book.  And sure, plot summaries do that too, but as they say, a picture is worth… (I actually don’t think that applies all the time, but that’s a different story!)

I know they say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I think it works to a point.  Does the cover feature a girl in a Regency-era dress?  (historical fiction!)  Is there a dragon?  Are there pretty fairies?  How about any icons from fairy tales? (fantasy!) Or is there a couple locked in an embrace, possibly with faces obscured but the man’s chest visible?  (and that would be half of the covers in the Romance section…)

So much for genre, which I suppose most books are labeled with anyway–but covers are a fun way to find out!  As to style…if a book has a cartoony cover, I expect it to be lighter than, say, a stark cover with a military symbol (Hunger Games, anyone?)  I will probably expect some romance out of a cover that has a long sweeping skirt somewhere on it, and I definitely expect excitement if there are dragons and swords.  I know covers get it wrong sometimes, especially when it comes to style, but I do think they get it right more often than not.

This is all before I read a book.  After I read the book–then I want accuracy!  In style, of course, but also in the details.  I’m the kind of reader who will notice if the cat’s eyes are the wrong color, or the main character shouldn’t be carrying the sword and the spear at the same time, because of chapter five…and so on.

As to that final question up there, on movie tie-ins–I do have a few books on my shelves with movie tie-in covers, but I’m only willing to buy them if I really liked the movie.  If I disliked the movie, I will always pay more money for the non-tie-in version.

I also tend to be a loyalist about covers.  If I get very attached to a library copy of a book, when I go to buy it sometimes I want that same cover.  Even if I can acknowledge that other covers are more accurate/prettier/etc.  And I can be ruthless about covers.  If I somehow ended up owning a book with a cover I hate, I re-cover paperbacks and get rid of hardback dust jackets.

All right, so much for my rambling cover thoughts!  I’m not sure I exactly answered the question, but I think I covered 😉 the subject.  What do you look for in covers?

And for some cover-related news on my next novel, visit again tomorrow!

6 thoughts on “Give Away Results – and Thursday Thoughts on Covers

  1. Congratulations to Emma! Covers are important. Not only will I avoid what might be a good book if I don’t like its cover, but I’ll give a book a try if I love the cover. I do find it annoying if,after I read the book, it is evident the artist or whoever approves the cover failed to catch mistakes. It is obvious that some artists have never read the book and don’t have a grasp of the content. Titles influence me as well–an intriguing title is a great hook.

    1. Titles make a huge difference to me too–that’s usually what makes me pick up a book to begin with, scan the cover for some sense of genre, and THEN I read the plot summary. And there have been a few books I picked up at the library that, oddly, had no plot summary but I read them anyway because the cover intrigued me.

  2. dianem57

    I totally agree with you that book covers tell a lot about a genre and that cartoon-y covers are likely to be on lighter fiction. Travel books frequently have beautiful covers from the city (or country) they’re about, which is a nice shorthand way of finding that out when the title doesn’t say it obviously. I don’t really like movie tie-in covers, either. But I guess the publishers like that because it makes the book much more prominent to people who might otherwise not pick it up. One book where I think the movie tie-in has become the de facto cover is “Gone With the Wind.” But that’s because it’s been in print for so very long. Very few books have that kind of staying power!

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